Table of Contents » Chapter 3 : Being Professional » Chapter 3 : Being Professional > On Paper

Chapter 3 : Being Professional > On Paper

On occasion students think that since they are students and as well as artists, they do not have to be as professional. This is absolutely not true. It is very important to be professional and responsible at all times. Build bridges – don’t burn them! The following information can help you with this.

Read Sandy Simon’s, Avra Leodas and Jeff Guido’s interviews in Chapter 9 for more information about working with galleries. In addition, “Art / Work” by Bhandari & Melber,  is a great book about being a professional in an artistic career.

Resume / CV (Curriculum Vitae)

Often artist will have several different resumes, one for exhibitions, one for employment, or one even for grants. Regardless of style, a strong clean resume is very important. Read More...

Artist Statement

It is important to have a clear artist statement. Write about your ideas, processes and interest. Usually an Artist Statement changes, or parts of it change with each body of work or exhibition. It is not a biography; it is a statement about your artwork. Read More...

Writing About Art
Essay by Liz Howe

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” – Elvis Costello



When preparing your portfolio for applying to schools, grants, artist-in-residence, for whatever, these are some things to keep in mind:Read More...

Letters of Recommendation

When applying for programs and employment, you may be asked for letters of recommendation, or a list of references. These are things to keep in mind:

Do not assume that your reference is willing to write a letter for you, they are not required to. If they cannot write a letter this does not necessarily mean that they do not want recommend you, rather, they have may have already committed to other letters or do not have time.Read More...

Information Request

It is common in our field to freely share information. However, this should not be taken for granted. If you are requesting information from an artist, for example, glaze recipes or building techniques there is some protocol to this. It is important to include this information:Read More...

Thank you letters

Once a gallery owner told me she had received a thank you letter from one of the artists for selling his work. She was amazed! I guess that does not happen very often. Thank you letters are always a good idea, whether you be invited to a workshop or exhibition, studio tour or employment opportunity. A brief follow thank you letter with a small but meaningful detail in the note is a good idea.


Whenever you have an exhibition or teach a workshop, you should have a contract – they help everyone to be clear on the expectations of everyone. Read More...

Things to ask about are reimbursement for travel, cost or room and board, how long is the obligation, if you are bringing work to see at the workshop, how does you host deal with this, are they advertising the workshop / lecture and so on. Try to think ahead and trouble shoot before your heading out the door. There is a great sections on contracts in “Art / Work” by Bhandari & Melber


“The GYT Forms page is where you can download helpful forms, contracts, checklists, and worksheets to get you organized and get your sh*t together. From budget goals to portfolio evaluations, we want to assist you and your art career in every way possible.”

The College Art Association

The CAA website is an excellent source for professional information and advocacy of the arts. Their website features a plethora of resources for career artist to art historians to art administrators.

Business and Legal Forms for Crafts by Tad Crawford

The Law in Plain English for Crafts by Leonard Duboff